Clean Energy Under Siege – Due To Failure To Deliver

Illinois Wind Watch has learned that the Sierra Club is trying to smear Illinois Wind Watch and one of its founders in a publication entitled “Clean Energy Under Siege.” Their allegations and speculation are false and misleading.  Leftist organizations accuse everyone who opposes their agenda of being funded by the Koch Brothers or somehow dominated by other organizations.  With respect to Illinois Wind Watch, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Illinois Wind Watch is a non-partisan, unincorporated association of Illinois citizens and citizen groups that oppose irresponsible development of wind energy.  Its members come from all parts of the political spectrum but they all agree that subsidizing wind energy makes no sense.  IWW receives no funding from third parties, including the Koch Brothers, the Tea Party or any industry group.  IWW opposes subsidies for all forms of energy, including fossil fuels and nuclear energy. 

IWW simply seeks to educate lawmakers and the public about the high cost and low benefit of industrial wind energy.  As a result of the efforts of some IWW members, the Illinois Tea Party was informed about wind energy and decided to highlight the issue on their website.  IWW has been and remains completely independent of any other group.  We rely on scientific or otherwise verified information provided by researchers or witnesses who do not profit, directly or indirectly, from the wind industry.   This excludes professors and scientists who accept massive grants from wind companies and wind proponents. 

We also gather information about the tactics of the wind industry from its most immediate victims:  the innocent people who have been hurt by the irresponsible development of industrial wind around their homes and businesses.  For the most part, lawmakers have ignored the negative impacts of industrial wind on the very citizens that they are supposed protect.  Unlike Big Wind and its parasitic supporters, these ordinary citizens cannot afford professional lobbyists and lawyers.  Illinois Wind Watch does what it can to give these disenfranchised victims a voice. 

“Clean energy” IS under siege—by its own track record.  The Sierra Club’s attack on IWW and other wind opposition groups is a desperate attempt to keep Congress and the public from learning the truth about wind energy:

Ø       After 20 years of tax breaks, grants, renewable energy mandates, and loan guarantees, the wind industry provides a pathetic 1% of our nation’s energy. This failed technology is being forced on the American people despite the fact that it will NEVER significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil or carbon emissions. 

Ø       Subsidies for renewable energy kill far more jobs than they create, as proven by multiple studies in Europe and a project-specific study in New Jersey.

Ø       Wind is unreliable and cannot provide baseload capacity.  As a result, wind must be backed up by fossil fuels, mainly natural gas.  The natural gas plants we would have to build in order to back up wind could provide ALL the necessary power at a fraction of the cost with much less damage to the environment and more carbon savings than the gas+wind option. 

Ø       Independent studies calculating net carbon emissions from the grid show that adding industrial wind to the grid does not appreciably reduce carbon emissions because wind makes the whole grid more unstable and less efficient.  Wind companies reportedly have data that would allow scientists to definitively determine the net carbon savings but they are withholding the data on grounds that it is “proprietary business information.”  In light of the billions of dollars given to wind over the past 20 years, the public is entitled to the data that would prove or disprove Big Wind’s claims that it is “green.” 

Ø       Tax breaks for industrial wind enrich crony capitalists like BP Oil, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, and the like.  Wind companies fund their projects by selling the future tax credits to these giant industrial and financial corporations for a fraction of their value.  As a result, the crony capitalists make billions but pay very little in taxes.

Ø       Most of the companies are foreign-owned; most of the parts are manufactured overseas.  Like Solyndra, U.S. wind manufacturers will never be able to compete effectively with India and China.

Ø       Wind construction and manufacturing jobs are by their nature extremely temporary.  Most of those jobs will end as soon as the initial construction phase ends, but the tax breaks will continue for 10 years after that.

Ø       More and more studies show industrial wind turbines harm people who live near them.  Other studies show what those living in wind communities already know:  wind turbines significantly lower the marketability of affected homes, effectively trapping non-participating property owners who must live in unhealthy and noxious conditions.

Ø       Industrial wind installations cause massive environmental disruption, including the senseless slaughter of thousands upon thousands of protected raptors and bats

The Sierra Club, a huge, multi-million dollar advocacy group, also personally attacked Carolyn Gerwin, a private citizen and one of IWW’s founders.  Contrary to their insinuations, Ms. Gerwin is anything but a front for Big Oil or any other industry or group.  She receives no compensation from IWW or any other entity for her work in advocating for sensible energy policy.  As she notes on her Facebook page, Ms. Gerwin does not live in or own any property in a wind project.  She supports IWW’s cause solely out of concern for the future of our country and a passion for protecting the environment.  She was a member of the Sierra Club for several years until she realized that the current leaders of the Sierra Club are less interested in common sense environmental protection than in promoting wasteful big government programs. 

Big Wind has already received over $22 billion in tax breaks and billions more in grants and loans over the past 20 years.  It will never be self-sustaining.  Industrial wind energy causes far more harm than good.  It has absolutely zero chance of saving the planet or our economy.  And no amount of name-calling, mud-flinging or slander of ordinary citizens who tell the inconvenient truth will change that. 

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